Red Hot Chilli Peppers / Two Door Cinema Club / Imagine Dragons / Jack Garratt / The Hunna / You Me At Six / Heck / Rag n’ Bone Man / Vexxes
On the BBC Music Introducing Stage, VEXXES took to the stage to open the final day of this year’s festival. The boys playing their hometown festival could clearly feel that this was a bit special as the air around their stage was filled with gratitude. Putting on a respectable performance the local lads can be proud of representing Leeds and dragging in a reluctant, mud sodden crowd.
Rag’N’Bone Man (7.5/10)
Bringing the soul to Leeds Fest was Rory Graham aka Rag’N’Bone Man. A special blend of soul and rap that boarders on spoken word that always carries a legitimate message. I was blown away by the honesty in this performance. It felt as intimate and natural as could be and the crowd could feel that too. In what is usually a tent filled with people throwing shapes and shouting over blaring music you had a captivated crowd that had so much respect that there was no talking and all eyes were on him.
Chaos. Straight up CHAOS. HECK destroyed the Pit stage at Leeds Fest. It’s slightly disappointing to know that a good portion of the crowd were only there for the band that followed. None-the-less Heck still put on an incredible performance that none of those people will be forgetting any time soon. At times they had one vocalist in the pit attempting to play guitar in the midst of a wall of death whilst the other was hanging from the rafters at the back of the tent. Crazy stuff.
You Me At Six (8.5/10)
Here come the sneaky little buggers. After rumours had run riot all weekend about You Me At Six playing a secret set, we got the news on Saturday that the band that had been missing for well over a year were going to be playing a set at Leeds Fest. The Pit stage was bursting at the seams by the time YMAS took to the stage. Raucous applause and cheers met the 5 piece as they took to the stage smiling from ear to ear. Unfortunately, into ‘Loverboy’ the power cut out but the crowd didn’t care. In a return-the-favour type manner the adoring audience entertained YMAS with their rendition of ‘Loverboy’. The power returned and the Surrey based boys powered through a set for the ages which including new song ‘Night People’ which the majority of the crowd knew to the delight of the band. This performance was an incredible ray of sunshine on a weekend marred by horrendous weather and ill prepared grounds keepers.
The Hunna (7/10)
High-octane, full throttle and humble. The Hunna joined the Festival Republic Stage in a tent that was already filling 15 minutes prior. The Hertfordshire boys rattled through feel good tunes like ‘Bonfire’ and ‘We Could Be’. I have a feeling they will only move up the hierarchy in the years to come. And rightly so. Catchy tunes and loyal fans will be the fuel to their fire.
( You can check out our Reading & Leeds Festival Interview with The Hunna HERE)
Jack Garratt (7.5/10)
Jack Garratt is more than just a one-man-band. He stands on the NME stage surrounding by instruments, gadgets and opportunities and doesn’t miss one. It’s an incredible sight to see. He belts out some incredible tunes whilst playing drums and synth without any sense of struggle. When Jack asks the crowd if they want to hear a cover or one of his own, he is pleasantly surprised to hear the crowd scream for an original. This is testament to what this man is offering. A thoroughly enjoyable performance with the combined energy of a full 5 piece band.
Imagine Dragons (7.5/10)
Imagine Dragons took to the stage and delivered what genuinely felt like a celebration of a performance. Something about Imagine Dragons’ music makes me feel nostalgic despite them only having been in the spotlight for 4 years. The Grammy Award winners played to a huge crowd on the main stage and looked like they enjoyed every minute as much as their audience did.
Two Door Cinema Club (8/10)
Here’s a band that are as consistent as they come. Back in 2010 Two Door Cinema Club were halfway down the bill on the NME stage and now they close the festival on that same stage. Strobe lights and joyful riffs fill the NME tent to cap off what has been a difficult weekend for many revellers trying to battle the adverse weather conditions. If anything can lift the spirits of the Leeds faithful, it’s the happy go lucky music Two Door Cinema Club brought to Leeds that Sunday. With them they brought a sense of elation and genuine fun. A band that has yet to reach their full potential did a good job of demonstrating exactly what that was with this classy performance.
Red Hot Chili Peppers (8/10)
The legendary Chilis. We have been blessed with Red Hot Chilli Peppers for 33 years and we’ve never looked back. Beginning with a typical RHCP style jam to open their set, it did seem like something that would have been perfectly suited to John Frusciante. However, Josh Klinghoffer has made this role his own and fits the mould with ease. After 33 years you might think that RHCP could be lacking freshness in their live shows. You’d be wrong. This is proven when Flea handstand walks his way across the stage while Chad Smith and Klinghoffer kill an instrumental section. The ever-present Chili Peppers play through their seemingly endless list of classic tunes to a chorus that sings them back. In unison, Chilis and Leeds sang the festival to a close with Give It Away. Leeds Festival draws to an abrupt end and people begin to filter out for one final time.
That's it- another Leeds Festival in the bag, quite literally, as me and my Manhattan Portage are out for another year! Here's to 2017!